# Probabilities

March 17, 2017

Now that my roommate’s gotten back to a healthy sleep schedule (guess who still hasn’t) I’ve decided maybe it is a better idea to record my disjointed thoughts here rather than bother said roomie during the late late hours of the night.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the impact we have on this world. Because we’re each one person out of over seven billion. Which means each thought I have is one of seven billion thoughts and each action I take is one of seven billion actions in any given moment. I’ve always wondered if there was someone out there in the world who had the same thought at the same time as me– have you ever thought about how similar our thoughts really are?

It strikes me that even with so many people in this world, it is often by chance and serendipity, fate, circumstance that we enter and exit people’s lives at seemingly insignificant moments, only to look back and realize the importance later. Or maybe we’ll never know that impact. Life is full of such endless probabilities and it is nearly impossible to measure how each probability led to another, and to another, and to another. For example, today. Today is the day high school seniors find out if they got accepted to Hopkins or not. I didn’t really think about the meaning too much– Hopkins is just one college of like, what, a million?– but then again this day meant so much. Think about the probabilities: the probability Hopkins accepted me, the probability Hopkins accepted the other wonderful wonderful people that make up my grade and this school, the probability I chose to come here, the probability others chose to come here, the probability I met some of these wonderful people, even the probability I was able to come here at all, be raised in the family I was, be fortunate to live in a developed country teeming with opportunity, to breathe and live with no limit to the height of my dreams.

My math teachers always have defined probability as a measure of chance. I think about these probabilities a lot because for many people, these probabilities are fractions of mine. I realize many probabilities are dependent of one another. If the birth of life all started from one branch of a tree diagram, I think it’s important to remain cognizant of how each branch leads to another. Like how college leads to a job. And how every person on this planet might be on a different branch on the tree diagram, or how the branches may be arranged differently for each person. What would happen if I didn’t go to college? If I didn’t finish high school? If I wasn’t born into a middle class family? The more I strip away at the layers of my tree diagram the more privileges I see that I am more than fortunate to have.

So I guess all I have left to say is thank you. To all my probabilities, my chances, my opportunities.